In a game not even as close as the final score, the Wolfpack ran completely roughshod over the Division I-AA Murray State Racers this evening in Carter-Finley Stadium. With the first string Wolfpack defense in the game, Murray State was only capable of a single first down in the first half, and have -2 yards total offense. NC State, on the other hand, scored the first ten times it had the ball, punting only once in the game, in the fourth quarter.
Doubts about Russell Wilson’s health seemed to be put to rest as the sophomore QB ran elusively and smoothly — on the few occasions he needed to escape the Murray State defense. Most of the game, the offensive line vilified after the South Carolina game provided adequate protection and time for Wilson, who threw for 228 yards and four touchdown passes.
Wilson also extended his interception-free streak to 293 passes, moving him into second place in NCAA history. The record is held by former Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson and is 325 consecutive pass attempts without an INT. That leaves Wilson 32 passes shy of the record, making it possible for him to hold the record all on his own within the next two games — both at home.Another highlight of the evening was the success of Wolfpack tailback, Toney Baker, who scored three touchdowns on the night – two rushing and one receiving. Baker generated over 100 yards in total offense by gaining 74 yards rushing on just 12 carries and scoring on a 39 yard touchdown for his only reception of the game. The N&O’s picture gallery can be seen by clicking here.
Although it did not score its own points, the NC State defense put the Wolfpack into scoring position on Murray State’s first two possessions, after Leroy Burgess recovered Murray State fumbles. On special teams, speedster T.J. Graham returned a punt for 57 yards to the Murray State 1-yard line, setting up another point-blank drive for the Wolfpack.
Video From The Game:
James Washington Scores a TD
Redshirt Freshman Brandon Barnes Makes a Nice 9-Yard Gain:
And on the next play, Barnes scored:
– Murray State had as many drives gain zero or negative yardage as they did drives that gained positive yardage. They managed more than four plays on a drive just once–at 13-play march late in the game that resulted in their only score.
– For the game, the Racers 36 total yards (1 rushing yard) on 45 plays.
– Murray State possessed the ball for less than 25 minutes; longest time of possession in a quarter: 6 minutes, 50 seconds.
– NC State, meanwhile, restored as much confidence offensively as is possible against this sort of opponent. Four hundred and eighty-four yards on 77 plays (6.3 yds/play), 4 yards per carry, 10.1 yards per pass attempt.
– NC State’s average field position for the game was the Murray State 48 yard line.
– The Pack converted 9-of-14 third downs and converted all eight of their red zone scoring opportunities.
– Toney Baker ran for 74 yards and a pair of scores and also scored on a nice 39-yard screen pass.
– Eleven different Wolfpack receivers caught a pass.
– Starting the wave while NC State is on offense: still a problem.